The Kansas police chief who led the raid on a local newspaper owner’s home has been suspended from his position. Mayor Dave Mayfield of Marion announced the suspension of Chief Gideon Cody on Thursday, without providing specific details or addressing his compensation status.
The raid took place on August 11th and has drawn significant attention to Marion concerning issues related to press freedom and First Amendment rights.
From ABC News:
The police chief who led a highly criticized raid of a small Kansas newspaper has been suspended, the mayor confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday.
Marion Mayor Dave Mayfield in a text said he suspended Chief Gideon Cody on Thursday. He declined to discuss his decision further and did not say whether Cody was still being paid.
Voice messages and emails from the AP seeking comment from Cody’s lawyers were not immediately returned Saturday.
The Aug. 11 searches of the Marion County Record’s office and the homes of its publisher and a City Council member have been sharply criticized, putting Marion at the center of a debate over the press protections offered by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Initially, the mayor had planned to wait until the conclusion of the state police investigation but later decided to suspend Chief Gideon Cody before the investigation’s results were available.
In August, Breaking Digest reported that a small Kansas newspaper, the Marion County Record, was raided by the city’s entire police force. Tragically, the raid left the newspaper’s 98-year-old co-owner, Joan Meyer, dead.
In early September, Breaking Digest reported that a federal lawsuit had been filed against the police chief responsible for conducting the raid by a reporter.
During the raid, Joan, who was waiting for a Meals on Wheels delivery, reportedly watched in tears as the police carried out their search. This distressing incident left her unable to eat or sleep, contributing to her subsequent passing, as reported by the newspaper.
Later, the Marion County Record released footage that showed the shocking raid that led to Joan Meyer’s death.
During the raid, conducted by the city of Marion’s small police force and two sheriff’s deputies, the office of the Marion County Record and the home of owner and publisher Eric Meyer were targeted. The shocking operation resulted in the unfortunate death of Joan Meyer, Eric’s mother and co-owner of the paper. This incident has been labeled by Meyer as a direct assault on freedom of the press.